A watch can be the single most personal accessory anyone can own. It says everything about the wearer whether they want it to or not. Of course, there are differences. Consider what that horological piece of analog wonder inherited from your grandad says about you compared to a polymer piece of digital lights you bought when you were just 16.
For some men, a watch will be the only jewelry they will wear (aside from, say, a wedding ring). And for that reason, adjectives like durability, ruggedness, and reliability, are casually applied to many designs geared towards men, as if design and aesthetics come in second place.
US watchmakers Hamilton, however, are one of a select group of horologists that seamlessly combine the two. As the watchmaker for the US armed forces since 1914, the brand doesn’t do frivolous and unreliable, but focusses on the things that matter with an air of heritage few American watch brands can beat. Its two latest sets of designs, the new additions to its Khaki Aviation line in the Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono and the Khaki X-Wind Day Date and the new Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm, demonstrate this perfectly.
The Khaki Aviation line nods to the fact it was a Hamilton watch that was used on the first US postal service flight between Washington and New York. Its two big additions to the range: the Khaki X-Wind Day Date and the Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono.
The X-Wind Day Date is an all-new modern, sportier and edgier iteration of its older cousin, the Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono. With subtle differences in design and colorways from three steel or black PVD-coated options to a choice of leather straps or steel bracelets.
The X-Wind Auto Chrono, on the other hand, was one of the first watches that allowed pilots to accurately measure and record the crosswinds they encounter on a flight thanks to its inbuilt drift angle calculator. Not that most people will be using that nowadays, but it’s still an incredible feature to have.
The watch has a significantly more industrial look and feel than the Field Mechanical thanks to two-toned brushed metal detailing around the day and date indicators at 9 o’clock, as well as metal overlays. Swiss movement from the Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph modified to the Hamilton H-21, giving 60 hours in its power reserve.
The new Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm, below, is a reworked classic from the 1940s. It was the original soldier’s watch, with its releasable crown that paused the second hand allowing instantaneous synchronization that proved so reliable, other brands used the feature as well. Retooled for 2018, that feature still exists alongside the NATO khaki colored strap, dark dial with light, luminescent Arabic numerals, and indexes showing hours and minutes.
Available in two versions: a matte black dial and NATO khaki strap, or brown matte dial with sand-colored NATO strap. For the full feature break down of the Khaki Field Mechanical, jump here.
Say something with your next watch and check out Hamilton’s full collection at HamiltonWatch.com.